By Sue Botos
Rocky River Public Library Director Nick Cronin was working on his message for the winter issue of the library’s “Inside View” newsletter when contacted regarding Phase 3 of the Hampton Road sewer project. Ironically, Cronin said he was writing about the construction, now in the paving phase.
“I was just writing the words, ‘It is my ardent hope that this project is now a memory,’” Cronin stated.
If Mother Nature cooperates, city officials say the work will be a dusty memory by the first week in November. “We’ve been lucky with the weather,” stated safety-service Director Mary Kay Costello, adding that cement has been poured for the eastern half of Hampton between Interstate 90 and Riverwood Avenue.
The project is the third and final part of the Hampton interceptor sewer project, which was mandated by the Ohio EPA to control flooding in the area and to replace aged sewer pipes, some dating back to the 1920s. At a cost of $2,395,566, most of the work is being financed by a no-interest loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission. The city sewer rehabilitation fund will cover 30 percent.
The project’s finale can’t come soon enough for library staff and patrons, for whom Cronin said access to the library has been “somewhat of a challenge” recently. “The best we’ve been able to tell patrons is that there are options,” Cronin said, referring to entering the library parking lot.
Due to paving work, the section of Hampton between I-90 and Riverwood, which intersects the library’s main entrance, is open only to northbound traffic. The Hampton/Telbir Avenue intersection, which leads to a temporary entrance, has been mostly open, according to Cronin, but on this particular day, he said the Riverwood/Hampton crossing had to be used.
Even though library staff has been keeping patrons updated, things can change quickly on the construction site. “There’s no guarantee you won’t meet up with a construction vehicle,” he stated. Cronin recommended that patrons call ahead before their visit to get the latest updates.
He added that patrons should consider library trips on Fridays, evenings and weekends when workers are not present and routes won’t suddenly change.
Although parking access may be a challenge at times, Costello has promised, “We are doing everything in our power to keep it open.” She added that the days that the book drop is out of service will also be limited. Currently, there is a temporary drop near the Riverview driveway, where all traffic is required to exit.
Cronin said that the city has kept its word on accessibility. Even on one of the heaviest work days, when cement trucks lined the street, not one program or event had to be canceled. “The city and the construction crew (Fabrizi Trucking and Paving) have been great to work with,” he stated.
In another bit of irony, Cronin reported that circulation of materials for the month of July, when the project was getting underway, set an all-time record. He quipped that patrons must have been stocking up for the upcoming construction work.
With two crews at work – on the south end of the street finishing sewer work, and the other at the north end paving – Costello said the focus is on the completion of surfacing. She said that sidewalks will be the last component of the project and may not be in place in time for Halloween; however little ghosts and goblins will be safe. “We are asking people to be careful, but we will have the site buttoned up on the east side,” she stated.